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Thread: Woody Shaw - A Forgotten Trumpet Legend?

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    Woody Shaw - A Forgotten Trumpet Legend?




    Woody Shaw was one of the top trumpeters of the 1970s and '80s, a major soloist influenced by Freddie Hubbard but more advanced harmonically, who bridged the gap between hard bop and the avant-garde. Unfortunately, he never broke through to greater stardom (due partly to "personal problems" and failing eyesight) and his premature death from injuries incurred after being hit by a train was a major loss. Woody Shaw grew up in Newark, NJ, where his father was a member of the Diamond Jubilee Singers. After starting on bugle, he switched to the trumpet when he was 11. Shaw left town for a tour with Rufus Jones when he was 18, and then joined Willie Bobo at a time when Bobo's band included Chick Corea. Shaw played and recorded with Eric Dolphy and, after being invited by Dolphy, he traveled to Paris in 1964 just a little too late to join the late saxophonist's band. After a period in Europe playing with (among others) Bud Powell and Johnny Griffin, Shaw spent periods in the groups of Horace Silver (1965-1966), Max Roach (1968-1969), and Art Blakey (1973), in addition to making many recordings (some as a sideman for Blue Note) with such players as Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and McCoy Tyner. Other than playing with Dexter Gordon in 1976, Shaw was primarily a leader from this point on, recording for Columbia (important sessions reissued in a Mosaic box set), Red, Enja, Elektra, Muse, and Timeless, plus two Blue Note dates co-led with Freddie Hubbard. His album Rosewood from 1978 earned a Grammy nomination and won the Down Beat Reader's Poll for Best Jazz Album, but overshadowed throughout his career by Hubbard, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and later on Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw would never find much fame or fortune.

    This article was taken from All Music Guide




    Hello Everyone,

    Woody Shaw has been one of my favorite trumpeters for quite some time now, but it seems that his work was always overshadowed by the great trumpeters of the day like Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd to name a few. I wonder why he never reached the popularity of these other fine jazz trumpeters?

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    I interviewed Woody for my radio show when he came out to Australia in early '81. He was certainly articulate and confident - when we discussed the "king' lineage of the trumpet (Louis to Diz to Miles etc), he was quite willing to have his name placed as the latest in the line. He spoke with great warmth about Clifford Brown and Fats Navarro as inspirations and talked about other (world) forms of music he was listening to in those days.

    Your point is a very good one: He was a superb talent (I've just this week been listening to his fine work with Joe Henderson in the late '70s) ;
    Woody Shaw must not be forgotten.

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    Woody Shaw is one of the all time great musicians! In Scott Reaves book "creative jazz" he transcribes and analizes some of Woody's solo's. His ability to mix out sounding pentatonic scales into his inside lines is very inovative and is well worth studying.

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    Registered User Marcello's Avatar
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    Woddy Shaw was a great artist and sound innovator.

    Here's some photos I took of him in 1977 or 78:








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    Yeah, Woody Shaw was a great player. I mean he's overall musical persona was just beautiful. The way he would weave all these beautiful ideas together. He was remarkable.

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    Marcello, you have amazed yet again!

    I don't have any Woody Shaw, can anybody reccommend a good starting point for me?

    Jeff

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    fwiw, guitarist jimmy ponder recorded shaw's "moontrane" on his recent cd somebody's child. outstanding.

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    Registered User omar zamora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffr View Post
    I don't have any Woody Shaw, can anybody reccommend a good starting point for me?

    Little Red's Fantasy
    I like good music. You like ****

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    Yup, big ups for Woody

    What a composer and arranger !!

    Katrina Ballerina and Think on Me to name only a couple of gems

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    Lucky Thompson fan soshigaya2's Avatar
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    He certainly isn't forgotten by me.
    I often play his music and have 12 cds, the Mosaic and 5 sets of unissued live material. As for recommendations, any or all of the 32 Jazz and the live sets on Highnote are excellent.
    AMJ Japan released two by WS and the Tone Jansa Quartet, one self titled and the other called Dr Chi. Both are interesting.

    Setting Standards is still one of my faves but it seems to be unavailable at the moment. Another that is seldom mentioned is his work with Kenny Garrett on 'Introducing Kenny Garrett' on Criss Cross.

    ps the photos are brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffr View Post
    Marcello, you have amazed yet again!

    I don't have any Woody Shaw, can anybody reccommend a good starting point for me?

    Jeff


    I just bought "Imagination" today and I heard it's an awesome album.

    All of his live albums on Highnote are worth checking ouit. His albums on Columbia "Stepping Stones: Live At The Village Vanguard" and "Rosewood" are also noteworthy.



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    Registered User walkin's Avatar
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    My first Woody album was Master Of The Art,maybe not his best one but one I always enjoy.His greatest sideman record was Larry Young`s Unity?

    Woody`s compositions stick in your head easily.I`ve had The Moontrane in my head for days.
    Hipness is not a state of mind.It`s a fact of life-Cannonball Adderley

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    www.jakehanlon.com Jakeweiser's Avatar
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    he's one of my favorite musicians period let alone trumpet players. His pentatonic shit is the hippest
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    I saw a lot of Woody in the 70s and 80s, and while there are some excellent recordings with him, I don't think they do justice to his live performances.

    If I had to recommend any of his recordings, it would probably be his playing on Dexter Gordon's Homecoming.

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    Registered User Marcello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffr View Post
    Marcello, you have amazed yet again!

    I don't have any Woody Shaw, can anybody reccommend a good starting point for me?

    Jeff
    Thanks very much.
    You can see more here, by the way: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11447043@N00/

    I've spent some time with his son, Woody III recently, and he's striving to keep his father's music and legacy alive.

    Here's a photo of his parents, Woody and Maxine Gregg (Gordon):


    As far as recordings:

    The Moontrane

    Little Red's Fantasy
    Rosewood
    Stepping Stones
    Louis Hayes / Junior Cook - Ichi Ban


    See this link for more: http://www.wnur.org/jazz/artists/sha...ovember-6-1976

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